Rick Santorum Drops Out of GOP Presidental Race

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In a surprise decision Tuesday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) announced that he is suspending his presidential campaign, all but putting an end to the Republican primary.

“We made a decision to get into this race at our kitchen table, against all the odds, and we made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” Santorum said during an address in Gettysburg, Pa.

During his 14-minute speech, Santorum notably did not endorse Mitt Romney.

The Pennsylvania Republican had taken a break from the campaign trail for several days to tend to his ailing daughter, Bella. He had pledged to continue campaigning through the upcoming Pennsylvania primary. But the combination of his daughter’s sickness and recent poll numbers showing him possibly losing his home state apparently prompted the early departure.

According to Yahoo! News, Santorum called Romney earlier in the day to inform him of his decision to suspend his campaign. The former senator also made a call to campaign operatives to relay his decision.

Santorum’s decision removes any lingering doubt that Romney will end up the Republican presidential nominee. The former Massachusetts governor held a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead prior to Santorum’s departure, though his campaign was planning on spending between one and two million dollars against Santorum in Pennsylvania.

UPDATE: 2:35 p.m. — RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has responded to Santorum’s decision:

“Today, Senator Santorum has made a commendable decision. He has decided to put his country, party, and desire to defeat President Obama ahead of any personal ambition. I applaud his decision and congratulate him on the campaign he has run.”

The Romney campaign has also released a statement:

“Senator Santorum is an able and worthy competitor, and I congratulate him on the campaign he ran. He has proven himself to be an important voice in our party and in the nation. We both recognize that what is most important is putting the failures of the last three years behind us and setting America back on the path to prosperity.”

UPDATE 3:10 p.m. — Shortly after the senator finished speaking, Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley explained the decision in a short phone interview with the Huffington Post. The senator came to the conclusion that he should suspend his campaign last night, Gidley said, noting that while his decision was largely driven by concerns over Bella’s illness, there were political factors as well.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Article Courtesy of The Huffington Post

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